Although they didn't make the Super Bowl in 2021, Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce are coming off a very productive year. However, their offseason has been tough. According to one NFL analyst, their tough offseason will affect them in the 2022 NFL season also.
Until this point, many have said that losing Tyreek Hill would hamper the team, but most were still waiting to rank where the team stands. Speaking on Speak for Yourself, NFL analyst Emmanuel Acho analysed where the team currently ranks without its speedy wide receiver.
“Okay, they're my fifth [ranked]. Don't have to remember just how good Patrick Mahomes and [his tight end] are, they're good enough to beat the Buffalo Bills in overtime. They're good enough to go to an AFC Championship Game after going to two Super Bowls like back-to-back."
He continued, saying that while the team was good enough to get deep in the playoffs, it needs to take a different tactic.
"Now Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce would have been higher on my list, but without Tyreek Hill, all the focus now when you're playing that Kansas City Chiefs offense? It has to go to [the tight end]. I'm going to make Juju Smith-Schuster prove himself. I'm going to make Mecole Hardman prove himself. "
Basically, he's expecting teams to lock down the tight end to force the Chiefs to find another way to beat them.
"I'm going to make the Kansas City Chiefs running game prove itself. Until then, first down, I'm doubling Travis Kelce. Second down, I'm doubling [him]. And of course third down, I'm doubling [him]. Still my fifth really but really they should get more respect. It's just they're gonna have to work a lot harder this year.”
Travis Kelce in 2022
In the eyes of many, the tight end has been one of the best players in the NFL consistently, for several years. He's earned,at least 90 catches in each of the last four seasons while earning at least 1,100 yards. Based on these numbers, plenty of fans are expecting him to continue his streak of dominance.
However, doubters such as Emmanuel Acho see storm clouds in the distance. Tyreek Hill is no longer with the team, putting much more responsibility on Travis Kelce's shoulders.
This is happening at the same time that the tight end is turning 33 years old. Put simply, some fear that the tight end's age, coupled with a rise in his demand, could prove to be too much in 2022.
Will Kelce find a way to overcome fatherhood and an onslaught of double teams while serving as the most reliable weapon for Patrick Mahomes?